Department of Materials

Undergraduate study

Industrial placements

All of our undergraduate courses provide the option of a year out working in industry. The Department’s close links with industrial partners means we are able to provide our students with considerable help in sourcing and securing their placement.

We send over 15% more engineering students on year-long engineering placements than any other UK university.

(2016/17 HESA UG Student Record: Engineering & Technology)

Placement roles can range from positions in Formula 1 motor racing companies, aircraft and automotive companies, large to small engineering companies, to marketing and business management positions in industry. Companies who have employed our placement students in the past include E.ON, Rolls-Royce, General Motors, BMW, Smiths Medical, GKN, Unilever, Tata Steel and Mercedes-Benz to name just a few.

Key benefits of an industrial placement

  • Improved job prospects. A placement gives you real world experience that will help you stand out when applying for your first engineering job. Some placement students are offered a permanent job with their host company when they graduate
  • £15,000 - £20,000. All placements are fully salaried.
  • Professional status. A year of industrial work experience can contribute towards achieving professional status.
  • Develop professional skills. Time management, team working, presentation skills and project management are all developed on placement.
  • Professional practice. Put your knowledge gained during your degree into practice within a working environment alongside professional engineers.
  • Improved academic performance. Placement students often demonstrate an improved performance on return from a placement due to the additional experience and maturity they have gained.
  • Additional qualification. The Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS) is awarded to students on successful completion of the placement.
  • Professional contacts. The placement year is an ideal opportunity to start making industrial contacts at your host company and amongst their customers and suppliers.

Companies providing recent placements 

  • Bentley Motors
  • Thales
  • Diamond Light Source Ltd
  • Air Defense and Space
  • British Steel
  • Science & Technology Facilities Council
  • 3M
  • Airbus
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Caterpillar
  • Mercedez Benz
  • Uniper Technologies
  • LMCC
  • Pirelli Tyres
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Hilti
  • Monitor Coatings
  • Bosch Rexroth
  • GKN Hybrid Power
  • Ransomes and Jacobsen Cummins
  • SG Technologies
  • Magnesium Elektron

Help to find a placement

Our students are keenly sought after by high profile engineering companies who know from past experience that Loughborough students are enthusiastic and equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive contribution to their organisation.

We have an Industrial Training Coordinator who gathers and supplies information about placement opportunities and advises students on what to expect from the placement experience. The placement process is overseen by the Schools Industrial Placement Tutor and we make every effort to help our students secure placements which match their interests and ambitions.

Choosing to take a placement

You can opt to take a placement at any point before it starts but most companies interview in the Autumn term of the preceding year so it is advisable to have made a decision by then. If you are not sure whether to take a placement you do not have to specify a sandwich option on your UCAS form.

During the placement, an engineer nominated by your employer will supervise you and you will also be visited by a university tutor at your place of work. Throughout the year in industry, you are required to write reports about your progress and experiences with your host company. On successful completion of the placement you will be awarded an additional qualification called the Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS).

Student Profiles

Our strong links with the industry allows the majority of our students to embark on a salaried industrially-relevant placement year where they will develop both academically and professionally. Find out more about what our students experiences in their year in industry below.

Joesph Howe, BEng Automotive Materials Student, Bentley

Have you had any previous work experience before this placement?

I have had little in the way of engineering work prior to my placement however I did spend a short amount of time whilst at sixth form working for an architectural technician which was useful particularly in the development of my CAD ability.

Did you have a choice of placements and if so why did you choose Bentley?

The placement scheme at Bentley is a very well established program not to mention it being one of the most prestigious top range automotive companies in the industry today. In addition to this the placement scheme offered to me by Bentley complimented my degree choice better than any other and gave me a chance to put into practise much of the theory I have learnt over the course of my first and second year at Loughborugh.

Summary of work to be undertaken or already achieved:

On a day to day basis the work varies hugely depending on what the environment within Bentley is like at the time. New developments are constantly being made to processes in the plant and parts for the vehicles and these changes all require in depth testing before being signed off – the laboratory is where all of these tests take place. Write ups for the research conducted to present to the relevant people make up the other half of the work done in the department.

What are you enjoying most about your placement?

The opportunity to use my knowledge for practical applications and see the work I am doing impacting the different areas of the business.

Have you decided what type of industry/job you would like when you finish?

Materials testing and research has proved even more interesting, since starting my DIS year at Bentley, than I had ever imagined – to get a job similar to the role I have here would be my ultimate goal.

What are your thoughts about Materials as a degree choice?

Materials is probably not everyone’s first choice when choosing an engineering degree but for me it has just got better as it has progressed. It’s a great way to specialise in a particular area of engineering whilst leaving the opportunities with regards to types of businesses you can work for completely open as materials are used in ALL industries!

Pawel Malon, BEng Automotive Materials Student, Jaguar Land Rover

"During my placement at Jaguar Land Rover I've been exposed to every side of materials engineering, from Body Crash CAE, laboratory based failure investigation and raw material cost projects. From day one I’ve been given projects and responsibilities allowing me to put my knowledge and skills gained as a materials student into practice and contribute in a professional environment. Being able to get the experience and knowledge I'm gaining here at an industry defining company is an opportunity not to be missed."

Jenny Wilson, BEng Design with Engineering Materials, Smiths Medical

“I spent my placement year working as an Industrial Trainee Packaging Engineer for Smiths Medical in Kent. We were thrown straight into real work which was very enjoyable and gave me a steep but manageable learning curve. I received lots of training, as being a medical device company, Smiths have strict guidelines for both report writing and practical work. I worked on major inter-departmental projects as correspondent for the packaging department, also I carried out projects of my own including the design of a new pack and introducing a new piece of testing equipment. My materials and manufacturing knowledge from my course was really beneficial when working on packaging design and development and I enjoyed my placement so much that I hope to ultimately get a job in this area.”